• First, we’re having a GREAT time with the One School-One Book program…. Getting “thank you” notes from parents already about how it’s “forcing” some family reading time that they seemed to have lost over the years.
    — Paul Marinko - Principal at St. Paul's Lutheran School - Fort Wayne, IN
  • Since last spring, our entire school has excitedly embraced the One School, One Book Program. We will soon begin our spring selection: A Cricket in Times Square -- the third book we've adopted since the spring of 2010!

    We are so thrilled with the positive impact this program has had on our students, families, and staff
    — Laurie LaRue - First Grade Teacher at Edgewood School - Bristol, CT
  • I think the OSOB program is brilliant. My seven year-old attends Orleans Elementary in Massachusetts and they (we) are reading Masterpiece. Since the grades levels range from one to five at this school, finding a book to suit all is difficult. My daughter can follow the big picture somewhat but we have to reinforce what we’ve read because it’s a lot to take in for her.
    — Glenn Krzeminski - Parent of student at Orleans Elementary - Orleans, MA
  • The One District, One Book program promoted by Read To Them...is a powerful way to systemically address and promote a culture of literacy throughout the entire school system.

    My school actually adopted a hamster and even used it as “pet therapy” for many of the behaviorally challenged children in our school.
    — Kenny Moles of West Virginia

Hate That Cat

by Sharon Creech (2008)

Another quick poetry novel from Sharon Creech. A sequel to Love That Dog. Can they be read together, in succession? You bet. We recommend it.

Creech returns the erstwhile poet, young Jack, to his class with Miss Stretchberry – who exposes him to simple, famous poetry (e.g. William Carlos Williams) and asks him to write some back. Employing the lessons he learned in Love That Dog, he is less resistant – but equally successful.

In this case Jack explores his purported antipathy for cats – while really continuing his discovery of and appreciation for language, vocabulary, turns of phrase – all the elegance that poetry can provide. He also uses poetry again to develop and express his feelings.

It is Creech’s genius to use Jack to slow down the reader’s own ability to acknowledge, appreciate, and concentrate on felicitous turns of phrase – “…even though it is fun/to imagine/a purple pickle/a polished pencil/and chocolate chalk” – the bread and butter of poetry.

When jack learns about tintinnabulation via Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Bells” he responds by racing to describe his world through active gerunds and participles. But readers/listeners/students too are able to learn not just the vocabulary of poetry (not the point of the book) – but to see and hear and investigate language with the attention and focus of poets.

Reading Sharon Creech provides a sly Language Arts microscope into the world – and emotion – of finely wrought language and writing – via poetry.

: Hate That Cat can be read alone – or in conjunction with Love That Dog. Both are short and can be read in a week or two. And for those families and schools that want more – move onto the more ambitious and multi-themed Heartbeat.

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